kug kim

Contributor: Sung Kug Kim

Creative Discipline:  Industrial Design

Location: London, England


Two weeks ago at ICFF [May 15-18] organicMobb caught up with several designers from around the world. Sung Kug Kim is the first of five designers interviewed during the event. Enjoy.

OM: Let’s start by talking about where we are. We are here at ICFF in New York City at your booth. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what brings you here?

KUG KIM: My name is Sung Kug Kim and I am from London where I am studying Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins, these here are bicycle handlebars [Bi-King]. The shape is similar to goat horns, deer horns and bull’s horns. I wanted to relate this piece with human material but in a natural way.

OM: So the handle bar is for human interaction, but you are then looking into nature for inspiration-

KUG KIM: Yes, something that is for the domestic area. In London many people are using the bicycle and when they return home they always put the bicycle in a domestic area. When I think about my bicycle at home it is really ugly-

OM: [ laughs ]

KUG KIM: . . . and I think, how can I make some beautiful stuff? You know the deer trophy?

OM: Yes, you put the head on your wall.

KUG KIM: I wanted to combine this with the bicycle handlebar.

OM: That is perfect- If you look at this [ pointing to the wall mounted Bi-King ] it looks like the head of a deer and simultaneously looks like the seat of a bicycle. You begin to understand this relationship of natural and artifice very well, it’s great.

KUG KIM: For the next project I would like to place the bicycle seat in the center of the piece rather than the machined aluminum piece.

OM: So you are still a student.


OM: And when are you graduating?

KUG KIM: Next month, in June.

OM: You are studying in London now-

KUG KIM: Yes, I came to London in 2006, studied then began working and then decided to return to school

OM:  I see an insignia on your booth, British European Design Group [BEDG].

KUG KIM: Everyone can be involved in this group. They must Study in either Europe or Britain. They [BEDG] collect designers and begin conducting interviews. They then take pictures of your work and it goes from there.

OM:  That’s great. And how did you get involved with this group and turn out here at ICFF?

KUG KIM: They asked me to be part of this show.

So what do you think about the project- about this work? I wonder when you see this, do you think it is a functional piece or decoration?

OM:  What I enjoy about Bi-King is the ambiguity in how one might read it. The way you have worked with the materials is beautiful- so beautiful that one can appreciate it as a stand alone piece. Simultaneously [ looking to the handlebars placed above a pearl-finished white helmet] I begin to see the bars as a usable, functional piece. Riding a bike myself I am attracted to the fact that the helmet is placed here suggesting that these bars are to be used on the street. The simultaneity is what really makes this project interesting – this coupled with the quality in which these are made.

Thank you Sung.


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